A report from the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed that all six incidents of crew kidnappings reported during the first six months of this year occurred in the Gulf of Guinea.
Overall, 107 incidents were registered at IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first half of this year.
During the period, 69 incidents of vessel boarding, 23 attempted attacks, as well as 11 incidents of firing upon vessels and hijacking of four vessels were reported to IMB PRC.
However, no vessels were reported to be hijacked in the second quarter of this year.
The report, which is the second quarterly report of ICC IMB, revealed that the number of crewmembers taken hostage increased from 63 to 102 compared to the same time period of last year.
A total of 25 crew members were kidnapped in the first half of this year, which is down from 41 during the same period of 2017.
All the crews were kidnapped in the six different incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, showing the higher risks of piracy in this area.
The report also noted that the actual number of incidents in the Gulf of Guinea could be ‘significantly higher’ than what is reported to the IMB PRC.
International Maritime Bureau director Pottengal Mukundan said: “The 2018 figures aptly demonstrate the value of timely and transparent reporting.
“The reports help to focus on risk areas and to accurately inform vessels of evolving dangers and allow authorities to deliver an effective response.”
Fewer incidents were recorded in other piracy hotspots of the world, including the Philippines and off the coast of Somalia.
No incidents were reported off the coast of Somalia in the second quarter of this year, while the number of incidents in the Philippines dropped from 13 to three compared to the same period of last year.